tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 26, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EDT
here's a richmond time dispatch, eastern shore tornado kills 2. this is your district, isn't it? >> it is, peter. we had a tragedy yesterday morning. a tornado came through cherry stone campground. we had loss of live. three confirmed. many more injured. i know the governor is going there today. i'm going straight there after this interview. we offer our condolences and thoughts with the families going through this. we're grateful for the first responders in your job. >> what is your view of what the federal government's role when a tornado strikes? >> our goal would be the first responders are equipped and prepared to do what they do best. the state comes in. it's really a tiered level. depending on the devastation
there could be perhaps some federal assistance, but there's a sequential order to it and the governor has to request this and as of this time, we haven't received that request and i don't know that we will. it just depends on the level of devastation there. >> let's put on your armed services hat. i want to talk about the cover of time magazine. you can see vladimir putin on there. cold war ii. are we entering a new cold war period? >> i think we're seeing the true character of mr. putin, a kgb agent who has kind of risen up through the ranks there, and his autocratic and determined style that is i think increasingly isolating russia from the rest of the world, really. there's no question that the connection between russia and the separatists is both direct and implied and implicit support
of the rebels has contributed to the destabilization of the region, and its linkage, russia's linkage to the downing of flight 17 is unknown at this time but it's clear that his -- both direct and indirect support of the rebels, i believe, clearly -- there is a linkage there at least in the sense that the rebels have been emboldened by his actions and his words and direct support. >> is there a role for the u.s. military in the ukrainian situation? in your view. >> there is a role for the united states and that is to provide moral clarity here and that is to make clear to mr. putin and top lieutenants this is not the kind of behavior and type the international direction that is going to be rewarded by the united states and to the contrary, what's going to happen is we've got to increase the
pressure through every diplomatic means, financial means. they should be paying a heavy price now for their renegade actions. this is a dangerous world in which we live in. you can look at just about every continent and there's some serious disruptions. it's becoming in many ways increasingly complex. we need leaders of every good and free people to speak with clarity here and mr. putin is taking russia in the wrong direction and in doing so is taking the world in the wrong direction. >> we sent some military advisers to iraq. do you support a continue role in iraq? >> no, not at present. i've been very clear about this. i objected to the operation called operation odyssey dawn when president obama went in and took all the actions that he took, military actions in libya, led an effort to get the administration to slow down in
syria, not one of the three provisions of the war powers action was in place. now in respect with iraq, there's a tremendous cost to the american people, not just in the loss of life, the iraqi people may be -- must be willing to fight for that level in which they believe. i don't see that the iraqi people are fighting for a democratic government. >> numbers are on the screen if you want to talk to representative rigell. you represent the virginia beach area. a lot of military. a lot of military retirees want to get your comments on what the veterans affairs committee chairman in the senate had to say yesterday about the v.a.
bill currently going through congress. here is bernie sanders. >> essentially, as you've heard from all of us, and if you know from the veterans organizations, the v.a. today provides good quality health care for those people who get into the system and i can tell you go to vermont and i suspect many parts of this country, it was just a story in today's paper, television, v.a. saved my life. you hear that story all over the united states. the problem that we're having is absolutely outrageous wait periods in various parts of the country and the reason you have those wait periods is we don't have medical personnel in the space to treat veterans and that is one of issues we've got to deal with and we have to figure out how we best pay for that. you cannot talk about negotiation, you can't talk about a conference committee when somebody says i'm asking you to join me in convening the
conference committee to vote on this proposal. who thinks congress is supposed to work this way? >> of all districts, we have the highest concentration men and women in uniform, active duty and retired, i'm mindful of this today. my father is probably watching this show, and he embedded in me, a deep sense that we take care of our veterans and i'm prepared and i trust and hope that my colleagues are prepared, house and senate of both parties, to do what must be done, to give our veterans the care that they have earned and deserve, so two things that i think are required there. first i think we need this safety relief valve if you will of allowing service members under certain conditions to go outside the v.a. system to get
their claire. i -- care. i think this is clear this is needed. the second thing we need to do is we need to stay here in session until we pass the legislation that's needed to provide for that. i cannot reconcile when this beautiful dome that i'm looking out here to my left, when we are going to shut down here perhaps at the end of the month without having, you know, passed this legislation. i think we need to stay in session and this is both house and senate until we get the job done. just by the leadership saying that, both the house and senate, that we're not leaving until we get this job done, i'm confident that that's pressure enough on members of congress to do what must be done and that's to pass meaningful legislation. that could help our veterans. >> is that going to happen? >> this place doesn't think like i think. i'm a businessman. you arrange your calendar to
address the challenges facing the organization. in this case, the organization is this incredible country that we're privileged to be a part of, so the direct answer is no, is i don't think that's going to happen. we got time in september, we have a couple of weeks there. i made it clear, since i got elected, my first elected office, my first several months up here, i am talking to leadership about how is it possible that we would go into a recess when we haven't for example passed all of our appropriations bills. it's unreconcilable really in my mind with the american work ethic. i've been a strong advocate for regular order. on top of that, these crises comes before our country, you have to pivot there and put in the overtime, just do what you need to do to get the job done. >> pat, ft. worth, texas. republican line. please go ahead. >> i would just want to make a
comment since you are on the budget committee about the crisis at the border sort of thing. i think the way people in other countries like that, the ones that are coming over legitimately and not for terrorists, they look at the government as the one that's going to help them. they know more about how to get free byes than americans do. why don't we set up foundations to let people donate money, so the people will realize that it's coming from the people not the government. it's the only people are cueing up and helping the country in america, but i don't know if they actually record i.d. it's getting kind of strange out here. >> american people are the most generous people in the world.
that can be proven, that we are a generous people, both with our local communities and also around the world. there's no nation that does more around the world in support of, you know, creating a better way of life for so many across the land. now, with respect to the border, the idea of creating a foundation and allowing people to give directly, to be very candid with you, pat, i don't see that we could all rally around one organization and how would the money be given out and all of that. i know individual americans can give, as my wife and i do, to organizations that help children particularly in countries that are struggling. now, the whole issue of how do we secure our border, what do we do about this other crisis, and that is the one that's unfolding on the border, if peter wants me to get into that i will, i do have views on this matter and
they are different than the direction the president is taking us on. >> let's base that on a twooet. should the national guard be deployed at the southern border? >> i've been clear on this in a responseful way, the national guard should be part of the solution set and that is not to be on the border. they don't have the authority nor should they be on the border, actually literally stopping people. that's not the purpose of the national guard. but they are well equipped, trained, and fully capable of helping on the the humanitarian side and in doing so would free up the border patrol agents, and their assets to focus on stopping the migration, which i think is important. it's a morally important because the children who are being subjected to this torturious journey, the coyotes, which is too benign a term, they are
doing this for a profit. they are collaborating with gangs to get these children over, and we have a moral obligation, i believe, to slow down and ideally stop the human smuggling that's taking place. >> nancy is calling from lagrange, georgia. democrat. >> good morning. i want to get back to what he was saying by moral clarity with mr. putin. i lived through ronald reagan and worked on the nuclear freeze and i wonder if he remembers republicans like john warner who kept us free and safe all those years. mr. obama needs to have a summit with mr. putin because mr. putin has enough weapons to blow this planet up ten times over. we should send the world a bill
keeping the world safe for democracy. >> the idea of the president having a summit, a meeting with mr. putin, i think is a good idea. when things are going sideways, when things are escalating as they are, not only with russia, but in other regions, i think it's important to communicate and not just, you know, go to the podium and try to conduct foreign policy that way. so i support what you are saying. i hope the president pursues that, along with other measures that woik clear to mr. putin that he's on the wrong path and he's going to pay a price for it. >> jim, bay city, michigan, scott rigell of virginia is our guest. >> good morning, gentlemen. i wonder, you've got probably thousands of troops stationed in germany and japan and all over europe probably, i don't think we're going to go to war with germany and japan in some time,
why can't you take those troops over here and put them in the border, protect the border. you know the troops are having a vacation over there. that's about it. so bring them home and put them on the border. what do you think of that one? >> well, jim, i do believe, and this is speaking as a member of house armed services, as just a fellow american who believes in a strong national defense, i do believe that we're in too many countries, and i am for and have advocated for consolidating our bases in a very rational and thoughtful way. now, putting our troops on the border is not something that i support. it's not the purpose of the united states military. now it is the purpose, as has been discussed, to have the national guard pitch in and provide assistance right now while we're facing this crisis, again to free up the assets of our border patrol so they can do
the proper intervention and prevent more illegal migration over the border. it is remarkable, isn't it, and very troubling that thousands, thousands of children can simply walk across our border? it leads me to this irrefutable conclusion, that those who say our border is secure, including senator reed, it's really laughable. i can't reconcile the reality with the statement that our border is secure. i can't agree with it. there is no common ground right there. >> potential for a comprehensive immigration reform, is it as dead as it's been reported and what would you like to see, if any? >> thank you peter for the question. it's an important one.
i do believe that reform, that word itself probably has more meanings right now in the american lexicon than any other word. who is not for reform? virtually everybody in the house and certainly the president and the senate as well is for reform. it gets down to what you mean by that. now, to me, the guiding principle is this, it should be easier for someone to come here legally. we are a wonderful mosaic of americans because of our embracing those who look differently than us, who might speak differently than us, and this is a wonderful part of our heritage that i celebrate, but we also -- we are a nation of laws, and we need clearly right now to do a better job of making it more difficult for someone to come here illegally. there are a number of steps that we can take. i do believe that using e-verify, i think turning off of what i think is the spigot, that
is the incentive for the employers to hire folks who are not here legally, we need to turn off the incentives for people to come here, some of that burden can be placed on an employer, and i think this is a reasonable expectation. it's a number of thpgs that we can do and we'll always be challenged in this area because this land is so special and our country is so special, that it is not the fault, i don't really think of the people who are seeking to come here. i have empathy for them. i understand why they want to get here, but we have to -- we have to route them through the proper channels and not have people just come across our border. >> congressman rigell, i promised carol in conyers, georgia, what has the president
done that you think is positive? >> on the local level, he made fort monroe a national monument. there's so much history there, the first folks who kind of were protected in the civil war, african-americans were protected by general butler there and he described them as contraband, as a legal theory to hold and protect those who were -- had run from the south and this american history needed to be preserved and i appreciate that. >> i think that the president's intent with respect to setting our country on a better fiscal path is genuine. i had the opportunity to speak to him directly about this for about 10 or 15 minutes, but i shared with him at that time that i was un -- i'm convinced that his assessment of the risks that we're taking on as a country is different than mine.
i hope he's right, but i see us as in an extremist situation. we've got to make meaningful wise reforms to medicare, medicaid, and social security so they can be there for the next generation, and i don't see the leadership needed in that area. i think his intent it good, but the wisdom and the courage to tell the american people the truth is not there, and peert, i really believe them from my own experience the american people are ready to hear the truth. they want men and women who serve up here to put their country first and they can handle that. i've found that to be true in my own district. it's beyond partisanship. it's beyond party. it's what's best for us as fellow americans. >> richard, philadelphia, independent line. good morning to you. >> good morning.
i'm not going to claim that i'm clear of what the government global role should be or is, but there's so much information that can't be provided or information that i can't actually have access to, but one thing, representative, i would like to know, if there was somebody that i should read that reflects your global perspective in relationship to american, i would like to know who -- what that book or who that person is that you look at that helps inform you, and then the other thing i would like to know is american global ideal of democracy and i heard you just recently mention meaning, everybody may come to something with a different meaning. people around the world are using democracy and they are taking and they are utilizing it and there may be a conflict for their choice of democracy, it may be in conflict with
america's view of what -- how the individuals that are elected, the individuals that are put in place, so i'm trying to get -- what is america's as you see it view of democracy that represents this here movement of people, especially in this time? >> richard, give us yours. >> well, as i said, it seems to me, and i'm going to ejimt as an example, they elected a democratic person, but then it was my considered -- i believe in the american press, where i get my information, as someone that the american government in general felt and that was because of being in the brotherhood, that should be representing and then from there, everything, you know, started to escalate one way or another, so i'm going to use that one example .
i think there are others democratic individuals are put in place and america's view is different. we're going to leave it there. congressman rigell. >> thanks for the call. it's an interesting line of questioning. i don't believe in seeking my office and in serving over these last five years i've been asked that question. i've been wrestling the answer to the first one since you asked it. that is who you might be directed to that would best reflect my world view as it relates to democracy and that general topic. i tell you after this minute or so wrestling with it, i still come back to one answer. i would appoint you to our website. it's not a little promotion here, but it's the only way i know to answer the question is rigell.house.gov. my views reflect a blending of so many things. first and foremost, i believe the founding fathers and i would
say mothers as well of our country set us on the right path. they were imperfect from the beginning. there's some deep flaws embedded in our constitution that we're all aware of and was wrestled with in the civil war and then beyond in the civil rights struggle that led us in a better direction, but the core elements of that reflect what i think is the best form of governance for man and i have overall what i would say is a restrained view on the use of force. it is not an unlingness to use force but i believe we as a country, particularly in the last few decades have been -- we've had a bias toward engagement, and i am certainly willing to use force. this is a difficult topic, but i think we've been two quick to engage ourselves in countries and we've had profound difficulty in extricating ourselves from that.
now the nations, let's look at europe, great britain, for instance, a far different form of government, a parliamentary system there. i'm good with other countries having their own form of government in western europe but they are elevating the values that i think are universally regarded and should be freedom of speech, of religion, and i think those attributes that america elevates so well and any nation that's going to elevate those, that includes israel to me is a nation that i look to as being on the right track. thank you. >> congressman, you said you are still an employer. what's the business? >> i'm an automobile dealer, and peter if, you would have told me five years ago that i would be with you here today. i would not have believed it. it's not on the bucket list of
life. >> you are in your second term. >> yes. >> what sparked your interest? what kind of cars do you sell? >> ford and volvo. i was asked to serve, and i was asked to serve, let's see, it was january of '09. now if we roll back the tape, the economy was imploding, and we were losing so much money at our dealerships. i remember talking to my wife terry at our kitchen counter, i said if this keeps up for another twelve months, we're out of business. it was a time of great stress in our country and for the men and women who are here and president bush and then following president obama, it was a very difficult time. i said no originally and then i heard somebody speak three months later, they said are you unhappy with where your country is going, where your own party is, my own party being the republican party, and i said to myself i am, then the gentleman
said our country is working fighting for and peter, i just felt this wave of conviction really that three months earlier i had said no because it would be inconvenient and things would be said about our family or whatever, all the things that come along with running for office. then i thought about my dad and i thought about the sacrifices that have been made for us to have the privilege to live in freedom, as tough as things are across the street, we are not settling things here with coalitions that cost rifles. i treasure it. i know my democratic friends do. we've got to find a way to make better decisions. we are bifurcating as a country. we're demonizing the other side. we have 45 minutes to talk to
the american people and really work through some things, and i've deconstructed to the best of my ability how we got on this path and just as importantly how we can get on a better path. we need to cover that day or some other time. >> bonnie, middletown, new jersey. go ahead. >> good morning, gentlemen. congressman, what made our country exceptional and great was that our country as a people opened our shores and our borders whenever there was a humanitarian crisis to people seeking asylum, and i appreciate that most of all because i'm a first generation american. so these children are not illegals or a lee yens, they are victims seeking asylum and that's the way we should treat this situation, and i'll leave that there, but the point i wanted to get to, your solution
and it seems it's your party's solutions to problems especially concerning situations where there is social programs is to do the thing you do best, blow things up real good. your solution for the v.a. is the same for social security and for -- privatize it. that's not the solution. >> hang on. let's see if congressman rigell agrees with that interpretation. >> bonnie, you've got strongly held views and i respect your views. i do hold ones that are really the reciprocal of what you just shared. let me first say that the notion that certainly my response or that of my party, i can speak with authority on my view for sure, and that is the response to blow things up, my view is the anti thesis of that.
i led the effort to stop the president's assault on libya and look what we have now. i'm not clairvoyant. i knew not one of the three provisions of the war act was met. i was working with dennis kucinich, it was a bipartisan effort to slow the president down, and i think our office and others, barbara lee, who i respect and appreciate, a democratic colleague, we worked together to slow the president down on syria. i can't tell you that we stopped a war. i've never said that. but i do know that the president took notice of this, so the notion that the default position is to blow things up, it's opposite of that. >> what about the privatization issue that she raised? >> what i'm saying here is i'm perfectly fine with the v.a.
continuing to be the formal v.a. system to provide the care for our veterans but this is managerially for the v.a. to pivot as quickly as they need to pitt. this is a venting system if you will to help with the demand that is very real. i know it because of the district that we're in. we have wonderful staff member, a veteran himself who is dedicated exclusively to trying to be a liaison with the v.a. and other members of our office help here. there are so many men and women who have served honorably who need help and aren't getting it. to me, it's not a partisan issue to say let's allow our veterans at least on short term basis to go outside the v.a. system to get the care and allow the new v.a. leadership to get a handle on that organization. it is a large one. it's complex. it's got lots of problems that
are well-known, and i think this would be a great relief to the current leadership of the v.a. >> bonnie, quick response. >> yeah, i think you are missing the point here. the way the post office issue was dealt with was to have them pay for pensions what 75 years out so that you could destroy it. the solution for social security with president bush was to privatize it. do you have any idea of what the very large baby boomers would be living with if that had happened? after the biggest bank heist that this world has ever seen. >> i'm not in any way to be argumentative but to provide the counterargument here, if you look at what the president offered, his solution as i describe it, as it relates to medicare, look, he doesn't have one that leads to the program being sustainable. i am a person who has been working with numbers all of my
life, and i go where the facts lead me and occasionally bonnie this requires me to confront my own party and say no, what we're saying is not true. i've done so. you can look at this with my position on the americans for tax reform pledge. this has not good for america and it's not my position. but conversely, those who go to the floor every day and say no changes should be made to medicare, medicaid, and social security, it's either out of naivete or worse, that is they know what must be said and are unwilling to say it to the american people. i've been forth right with my friends and neighbors that i have the privilege to serve. i've been completely forth right. that is put the facts before them, and they are difficult facts, but we can get through your fiscal situation. we have to make wise decisions and find our ability to discern the difference between a
compromise in principle, which is what gotten us in this best and a principle compromise. which is essential tor -- for us to get out of it. >> we prsht you coming over. >> more now on today's washington journal on the situation of unaccompanied minors on the u.s. southern border. this is 25 minutes. >> zoe lofgren is the ranking member on the subcommittee on immigration. you just returned from the border? where did you go? >> we went to mcgowan, brownsville, the chairman of the committee had arranged, you know, briefings. we arranged some additional meetings and invited the republicans to come, although they were not able to do most of it. you know, it was a startling
experience in some ways. the department of health and human services really didn't have the capacity to comply with the law which requires that young children alone be moved out of border patrol custody within 72 hours and they just didn't have the space. that has since been corrected and what i saw at the time were primarily very young children, including toddlers in jail cells, eight, nine-year-old kids by themselves, and it was, you know, very disturbing and i'm glad that the administration has gotten ahead of that and the secretary of homeland security has called me just a few days ago say the backlog has now been moved out and the law is being implemented which is good news. we also visited with the baptists are running one of the
temporary transit centers for these kids, and they were doing a terrific job, i must say. it was primarily little boys, nine, ten years old, they were very orderly. they were really nice little kids. the staff was pretty positive on these youngsters, and we also went to the rio grande and observed the border patrol in action. one of the things i think people don't understand is how effective the technology is along the border. we had the chance in brownsville to observe the 24-7 command center where, there are sensors buried all up and down the border. when they are triggered, alarms go off, cameras swing into view and you can see whether it's a cow or a person. if it's a person and it's an incursion, then, you know,
border patrol is dispatched for an intervention. so, you know, they have got mobile towers, the infrared cameras. it's pretty organized and pretty impressive. >> we're going to hear from viewers during this segment and some are going to say this is that illegal immigration is ruining our country, that immigrants are getting benefits and we can't afford it, et cetera. when you hear that, what's your response? >> well, you know, sometimes i feel it's -- is it a burden to actually have the facts? there's a lot of over the top rhetoric on the issue of immigration, and oftentimes that rhetoric is at odds with the facts and the law. i think we're going to be better off if we're led in a very
dispassionate way to look out for what's the best interests of our country and following our traditions. immigration made this country. we are a nation of immigrants. sometimes i hear people say they should do it the legal way and i think back to my grandfather. here's the process he used. he got on a boat. the boat sailed to america. he got off the boat. that was the process then. obviously, we have a more complicated set of laws at this point. the supreme court once called the immigration laws as complicated as the tax code, i'm not sure that's true but it is a complicated area of the law and what some people say is illegal oftentimes is not, if you take a look at the law. for example, these young people coming to the united states, it is within immigration law to apply for asylum. that is provided in the law and has since after world war ii.
now, there's a case by case review. you might meet the standard, in which case, you'll get asylum. if you don't meet the standard, you'll be return where you came from. we need to go through these issues in a very deliberative way and stand up for american values. >> representative lofgren, in the "new york times" u.s. considering refugee status for hondurans. what's your initial impression of that idea? >> i think it's a reasonable thing to look at. we know that the initial asylum claims for these kids, more than half are being found valid. it's a terrible journey for people to make across, from central america all the way to the utilizes. it's -- united states. it's pretty clear that these young kids, the girls are being subject to abuse along the way.
no one thinks that's right, and so the idea that you could sort through whether there's a value i claim or not -- valid claim or not, without a youngster making that terrible flight, i think has some value. it's been done in the past. it's worth pointing out when we had a meltdown in hate -- haiti and em were fleeing, let's go to haiti, see if people have a valid claim or not and people don't die at sea. i represent saint jose, california. most of the vietnamese americans i met actually came in on the american patrol.
>> very quickly before we go on a call. this is a tweet from speaker boehner, strong public support for fixing 2008 law needed. americans and house republicans won't support a blank check without reform. then usa today opines on that 2008 law. flawed law generates big businesses for child smugglers. >> i think there's a lot of misunderstanding. actually, it wasn't the 2008 law at all. it was a 2002 law. dick army was the author of it. that provided for the case by case review. in 2008, children from contiguous countries were removed from the due process protections. this dust up actually has caused review of that matter and one of the interesting things is the u.n. high commissioner for refugees went in at our request to critique the -- how the 2008
exception for the children from contiguous countries is working and what they found was that we are sending human trafficking victims back to their traffickers. you got to remember that the wilberforce act that we're talking about was an anti slavery bill, this is not to be tampered with lightly. i think it's interesting we got a letter just earlier this week from a broad coalition of religious people, the southern baptists, the national association of evangelicals, the world vision. i mean, these are evangelical churches that are more on the conservative side, they were part of the broad coalition that brought the trafficking bill to a successful conclusion. they object strongly to removing protections for human
trafficking victims and i don't think it's appropriate to mix a spending bill with such a profound and negative change for protection against human trafficking. >> zoe lofgren, currently in her tenth term in congress, represents the san jose area in california. stanford grad, university of school of law. >> i was calling, i wanted to kind of get -- i wanted to kind of get two questions in. >> sure. >> my first question was basically with the political climate being so partisan right now, do you think that there is a possibility of getting immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform done in at least before the election, and second off, you know the president proposed giving them refugee status. i think that's a good thing, and i think that we as a country
need to remember that it still is a humanitarian crisis. >> those are good questions. first on the refugee issue, the president actually, i don't think a decision has been made, and it would not be a grant of refugee status to these children. it would be processing on a case by case basis whether a particular individual had a valid claim for that status. so it's not at all clear that most people would necessarily meet that standard, but they would have an opportunity to make their case in honduras instead of in brownsville, texas. the second question on comprehensive immigration reform, i have worked on this for so long. as you may know, we had a bipartisan group in the house that we actually met for four and a half years to see if we could reach agreement and the good news is we actually did
write a bill. it's not everything i would have wanted, but it was a workable bill. unfortunately, that effort and the bipartisan effort in the senate have run into a brick wall in the form of the speaker of the house. he told the president a few weeks ago that we were just not going to do immigration reform and, i think that is really a shame because the country by large margins wants to clean up the mess that we've made of this law, and allow people to get right with the law, and move on. i know that if we put the immigration bill up for a vote, it would pass. so i think it's just really unfortunate that the speaker made the decision he did. now, the president has broad authority under existing law. the concept of using that
authority to the maximum amount of benefit for america is something i have urged and others have urged. yop what the president is going to do, but i really think the republicans have given him no choice. they won't lejs late, so he's got to examine the authority he has under law and see if he can fix some of this mess that we created. >> roy is calling from north carolina on the republican line. go ahead, roy. >> yes. ij want to know why it is that the border, you are all so willing in letting them across and talk about the kids and what is the gaza strip, israel, syria, and stuff like that. if you are going to bring them all in, why -- i don't get this and on top of that, i just want
to know how many is she supporting and so on and so forth that -- i mean, the kids that were born and raised here have got to have a chance too. that's the bottom line. >> well, thank you, roy. the issue of refugees from other countries is an important one. as a matter of fact, i co-share the refugee caucus in the house. it's a bipartisan group, and we do admit refugees from syria, people who can make their claim. obviously, we don't take every person who has been persecuted in the world into the united states. there is limits on what we can do, but we are part of an international coalition to play our part in providing a beacon of hope for people who are oppressed around the world. you know, the issue of our own
children here in america, you are absolutely right. we need to make sure that young people in our country have the best chance possible for a great future, but i don't think those two things are inconsistent. you know, in my own home community, in san jose, we have people stepping forward, you know, who are raising their own children, but also saying can they adopt one of these young victims of violence. so we're a great country. we're the best country in the world, and i think that we have the capacity to move forward with hearts full of love and hope, not despair. >> zoe lofgren, not only is a lawyer, but she practiced immigration law at one point and taught immigration law at point as well. >> yes, i did, a long time ago. >> has it changed since then? >> oh, it's changed considerably
and really every time congress touches it, we make it more complicated, and in some cases make it dysfunctional. here's one way we really made a mistake. how unsatisfactory are the words i told you so, but in 1996 we changed the law so that if you were eligible for a legal permanent residence and here's the most common way, you are in america, you marry somebody from another country, you don't have to move to france. your wife can live in the united states with you. you file a petition, and your wife can become a permanent resident. we changed that so that if you were out of status, i mean, if your visa was improper, you didn't have status, you couldn't get that visa, even though you were married to an american, unless you left for ten years. now the proponents of this said this will fix illegal
immigration. obviously, it didn't. if you can imagine, you are married to someone have a coupl. if you leave for ten years, by the time you get back, your kids would be grown. you're not going to leave. what's happened is that the spouses of americans in many cases have stayed here in an undocumented status. that's dumb. and we should fix it, but we created that problem ourselves. we -- you know, we have about 2 million migrant farm workers in the united states. if you go to any grower and they'll tell you, agriculture in america could not survive without those migrant farm workers. 80% of them probably are undocumented. how many visas a year do we have for employment based residences not based on a college diploma? 5,000. 2 million workers, 5,000 visa, who set the situation up?
we did. we need to fix this so it works for the yoounlsz, so it works for american business, so it works for american families. we need a law that's enforceable and then we need to enforce it. >> those are some of the issues that jeb bush talked about yesterday in his wall street journal op-ed. here's the tweet, the border crisis required strong leadership now and reforms that will prevent this influx in the future. glen in lancaster, california, independent line. glen, you're on with representative zoe lofgren. >> good morning, zoe. please comment after she answers my questions from bonnie. we're releasing these children, are we fingerprinting them first so we can track them down? are we fingerprinting the people we're releasing these children to? >> glen, do you think that's a good idea? >> caller: yeah, i do. we have laws. i get fingerprinted if i get
picked up for anything. they check my fingerprints. they check my i.d. we don't go after any visa overstays. >> lancaster, you're in the southern california area, right? >> caller: yeah. >> have you seen an effect from illegal or undocumented immigrant in your area? >> caller: yeah, in everything. our hospitals, our schools, the welfare offices. everywhere. >> all right. let's get a response from representative lofgren. number one is the idea of fingerprinting. >> thank you, glen, for that question. the children are not fingerprinted, but their pictures are taken. there's iris scans, so certainly they are identified. the -- the law provides this. if there is a child who's here by themselves unaemped, they are to be transferred from the border patrol to the temporary
custody of the office of refugee resettlement. and then that office is supposed to find the safest, least restrictive placement that's in the best interest of the child, only until their immigration hearing is held. it's not understood, i think, by some that every single child who comes in in this category is placed in deportation proceedings and they will go before an immigration judge, and they will have an opportunity to either make their case or that they have these available under the law, and if they don't, they will be removed. they'll be deported back to the country they're from. the adults that children are placed with vary. in some -- oftentimes it's a relative or family friend. it's a parent who is here. people think it's only the undocumented. that's true in some cases, but
worth remembering that a lot of people from honduras and from elsalvador wer presented something called protected status. they're here lawfully, but they can't legally petition for their children or their spouses if they were behind. you might have a parent in that situation. you might have an older sibling, an aunt, an uncle, a cousin. if it's not the parent, there's fingerprinting and also a background check because you want to make sure that you're not taking some 8-year-old and placing that 8-year-old with a sex trafficker and abuser. ia need to make sure it's a safe situation. i just would point out that if you are here without legal status, you're not eligible for any welfare benefits. it's, you know, if you find someone who is getting public assistance and they're undocumented, that's not in accordance with the law, and you
might want to let someone know. >> tom, pittsburgh, very quickly. go ahead. >> caller: yeah. you know, i have grandchildren. i'm 84. gra grandchildren. and i don't think it's right they should have all these people come in. look at the unemployment rates in the black population. anywhere from 15% to 20%. what about them? you know, what about that? and what about george bush, the elder, was president, the first thing he said was there's a new world order. and this president, he is fulfilling that. in other words, maybe in 20, 30 years, it's going to be peace and prosperity partnership, all south americans can't live in the united states.
that's what it's going to lead to in my opinion. >> we're going to leave it there, tom. any comment for that caller? >> well, i don't think we need to fear the 8-year-old. the 8-year-olds aren't going to come and steal someone's job. i will say this, that communities across the board, african-american leaders, asian american leaders as well as the southern baptist and others, have stepped forward to say that we should follow our religious belief beliefs and treat these young children with charity, as our religion, great religions require us to do. some of these children will be returned because they don't fall into the legal categories. some will not, but while they're here, the best tradition of america is to show charity and
kindness to young children who are by themselves. >> and laura tweets in, any immigration reform should not encourage parents to abandon these kids to traffickers or send them alone to the border. representative zoe lofgren, we appreciate you coming over and talking with our viewers. >> on the next washington journal, mark jacobson with the truman national security project and herman perchner with the american foreign policy counsel discuss fourn policy under the obama administration in relation to russia and the middle east. then tim starks talks about a proposal to have anti-missile installed on jets. we'll also take your phone calls and look for your comments on facebook and twitter beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. president obama met with
central american leaders at the white house on friday to discuss the influx of unaccompanied minors into u.s. territory. that was also an issue addressed by dan pfeiffer an event earlier in the day, hosted by the christian science monitor. more broadly, he spoke about immigration policy moving forward. >> i think that we have two separate issues, separate but related issues. one is we have a specific challenge at one portion of the border in the rio grande valley, and we have to deal with that. that requires sending additional resources, both redirecting resources we have and asking for resources from congress. second, we have to deal with, we were talking about the executive action around long before we had this specific challenge at the border, so obviously, what's happening at the border is part of the backdrop for the decision for -- the thinking behind this and the decision we'll make.
i think it will probably increase the angry reaction from republicans. you already have senator cruz saying that he will not allow there to be a vote on the immigration bill unless we agree to deport all of the dreamers who had received deferred action under the president's executive action of 2012. i think that speaks to both the tremendous cross current in the republican party on immigration reform when you have people like john mccain and lindsay graum, others in the republican house who have been very open about comprehensive immigration reform and then a nativist tendancy that has been very damaging to the republican party politically. we talk about the lawsuit. you have sarah palin out there talking about impeachment. i saw a poll today that had a
huge portion of the republican party base saying they supported impeaching the president. i think a lot of people in this town laugh that off. i think it is -- i would not discount that possibility. i think that speaker boehner by going down the path of this lawsuit has opened the door to republicans possibly considering impeachable at some point in the future, and i think that the president acting on immigration reform will certainly up the likelihood that they would contemplate impeachment at some point. >> you can watch that entire event with dan pfeiffer online at c-span.org. and on this weekend's news makers, we'll hear more about the unaccompanied minors entering the u.s. with customs and border protection commissioner gill kerlikowske. he talks about what his agency is doing to address the issue and the pral